Published December 10, 2013
Pope Francis stepped on to the centuries old balcony of St. Peter Basilica on March 13, 2013, offered a few words before asking people to pray for him. And then he bowed.
The former cardinal-archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, became the 266th successor to St. Peter. It was one of firsts: the first pope from Latin America and the first Jesuit.
He has not changed doctrine. But Pope Francis has changed its practice, putting the needs of the poor and the marginalized at the center of his papacy. He returned to his hotel to pay his bill after his election. On Holy Thursday, he washed in imitation of Jesus the feet of youth inmates, including women. He lives in a modest hotel in the Vatican, not the apostolic palace.
People of all faiths – or none – seem drawn to his message. He is a social media phenomena. He was the most popular topic globally on Facebook. He is
on the shortlist for Time magazine’s Person of the Year.